SONY USERS are about to get a windfall after an accord was reached in the long running litigation concerning the company's removal of an option to run Linux on the PlayStation 3 (PS3) following a firmware update.
PS3 users who can prove that they used Linux on the console will be entitled to $55 under the ruling, which will be ratified by a judge next month.
If they can't, they'll still be able to claim $9 if they confirm that they chose the PS3 on the basis of claims that it runs "other operating systems".
The ruling applies to anyone who bought a PS3 in the US between November 2006 and March 2010 after the company cited security concerns with the feature.
Sony will have to pay $2.25m before the players get a penny to cover legal costs. After that, it's unclear how many claims will be made, but it seems that a lot of people feel that they were suddenly hard done by. Poor loves.
Sony has always denied acting inappropriately, claiming that the removal of the feature, which didn't appear in the PS3 Slim, was perfectly reasonable and in the interests of the customer.
It's worth noting that a customer got a jailbroken Linux build working within months anyway.
So how do you get your cash? Well, here's what the document says. For the full enchilada owners "must attest under oath to their purchase of the product and installation of Linux, provide proof of their purchase or serial number and PlayStation Network Sign-in ID, and submit some proof of their use of the Other OS functionality".
For the niner you need to attest that you "knew about the Other OS, relied on the Other OS functionality, and intended to use the Other OS functionality". Or "attest that he or she lost value and/or desired functionality or was otherwise injured as a consequence of Firmware Update 3.21 issued on April 1, 2010".
Unfortunately, as one user pointed out to us, the PS3 consoles of that era had a nasty habit of going melty-solder bye-bye and a lot of people won't actually have the serial number of the machine on which they installed Linux. Oops.
The court will hear the accord in a session on 19 July. µ
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